Cardinal KOA, Cardinal, Ontario
Cardinal KOA is a campground located in Cardinal. What is your dream vacation? The gold-rated Cardinal KOA is waiting to help you have it! Capable of handling all campers for one night, or your entire vacation, our sites range from the 50 amp, 65-foot pull-thru sites for the "Big Rigs" to the large, treed, 15 amp back-in sites conveniently located near the pool, playground, and modern immaculate washrooms with flush toilets and free showers. Every site comes with a picnic table, fire ring, and a water source.
Reviews for Cardinal KOA, Cardinal
The comments and opinions expressed on this page are those of visitors to this site, and not of and or its parent companies.
Mon 23 Jul 2012
Positives: Jumping pillow, pool, go carts, splash pad, trees, clean washrooms.
Negatives: Broken promises, failure to provide the sites we were promised, rude, quick to anger, owner.
I can not say enough good things about the employees at KOA Cardinal. They were polite, helpful, and attentive. However, the owners are another story all together.
My wife went to the site a few weeks before our first trip to scout a site we would like. She booked the same site for two separate weeks in July. Our first week was great. But when we returned for the second stay, we were assigned a site that we specifically told them we didn't want at the time of booking weeks before our first stay.
Two staff members tried to solve the problem and they came up with a workable solution that would have us move from a site we preferred to the owner's private site when the site we wanted became unavailable on the week end. This was arranged by a phone call to someone who gave them permission for this solution.
Two days before the move a very apologetic staff member came to our site to inform us that one of the owner's friends would be using the site promised to us, and we were to be relocated to the site we had rejected at the time of booking several weeks before.
So, we were promised a site we wanted, arrived to find out they had messed up our booking, were promised another suitable site, only to have that site reassigned to one of the owner's friends, and then shuffled off to a sub standard site.
When I spoke with the owner he was quite confrontational, rude, and insinuated that my wife was lying. In fact, it was the owner's spouse who had made the initial mistake. I can certainly see why other folks would feel threatened by his demeanor. I was surprised how quickly he was to anger and point the finger at us. I can well imagine that others would be afraid of his body language and accusatory tone.
Our vacation was cut short by four days. You simply don't promise a customer something to remedy a problem your business created only to take it away a few days later.
We won't be back, and that's a shame. The pool was great, my kids loved the go carts, and the jumping pillow was a hit. I will be writing KOA corporate to complain.
Fri 20 Jul 2012
Positives: Just about everything!
Negatives: The chip truck was only open for a few hours the first night we were there. That was disappointing, we would have liked to have some fries on the Saturday or Sunday.
The water slide was only open for one day during our 3 night stay, we didn't realize that either until we denied our kids on the Saturday indicating that they could go the next day.(it's a pay for use slide). With that being said, it was closed for cleaning so I guess they have to clean it some time.
We were a little worried because of the negative reviews we had read, but it turns out we were worried for nothing. The staff were amazing, friendly with the adults and great with the kids. If the kids got out of line and parents weren't around to set them straight then I saw staff step in at times. They weren't doing it cause they don't like children, they stepped in to keep everyone safe.
The grounds/bathrooms/pools/etc... were imaculate. We got to partake in a turkey dinner because we were there for Christmas in July. I was very impressed with all of the activities planned for the kids and my kids couldn't get enough of the bikes that were available for rent. The bouncing pillow was amazing!
Mon 10 Oct 2011
Positives: Pool, jumping pillow, playgrounds for kids.
Negatives: Pool is about 30 feet from the dumpster. Owner can be abrasive and unfriendly, and is very quick to threaten eviction. Quiet Time really means Silent Time. Expect to be told to go to bed!
Overall, Cardinal KOA is attractively close to Ottawa. It has reasonable facilities and the kids love it. However, the owner is a strange guy. By day he seldom smiles. But night he turns into a noise control freak whose behaviour toward campers borders on harassment. If you're the type who go to bed at 10am with your kids, you might enjoy him. But at 11:15, even sitting around your campfire speaking very quietly will result in being threatened with eviction. Dan Parent, the owner, has poor interpersonal skills and a distorted sense of reality. To him, "quiet" means he can't hear you from the roadway right beside your campsite.
I have camped many places and never met an owner who was so overbearing and unfriendly.
Fri 07 Oct 2011
Positives: The positives are everything, cleanliness, activities, chip wagon, little store to get basics.
Negatives: It would be nice to have full hook up but I can see how that is next to impossible to do with all them beautiful pines.
The biggest negative for us is the $10.00 visitors fee. We had 2 people come to visit us from 2pm until 6:30pm ate supper with us, used no amenities (there were none available this time of year) but were charged $20.00 Yuck on that one.
Hey explain why such a high fee... everywhere else (other KOA's) usually charge $5.00 when they use the pool and stuff and $3.00 if not.
We had a wonderful time. This KOA goes out of their way to provide young and old with excellent activities.
Being it was Thanksgiving Weekend. They also celebrated Halloween. They had haunted hay ride, maze, haunted house and a FREE turkey dinner. All you were asked to do is bring a side dish or desert. They paid for the turkey and cooked everything.
They have a policy that you have to wear a bracelet while you are there. I don't know exactly why it is but I am guessing that it is to prove that you paid for being there. I don't have a problem with that. If people are sneaking in to visit, shame on them.
I read several complaints that the sites were too small, yet they have "buddy" sites, where one camper faces the other (awning to awning) which is wonderful when you camp with others. We have a 40" A class RV and we had plenty of room to even park the car and plenty of grass for the dogs and ourselves.
We also read that the owner is a rude by telling "quiet" people that they have to shut things down and go to bed or that he is rude to kids etc... We adults went to bed because we were tired around 11:30 and allowed our TEENS (you know the ones that are no good for nothing) to stick around the fire quietly. The owner came around and said " hey guys don't forget it's quiet hour" but he said it politely and left them be until they came to bed.
I think sometimes it's all in how people read into something. Because he comes around and makes his presence known doesn't mean he is evil. I think people are confrontational too and I am sure that puts his back up too. I don't disagree that he couldn't add an additional smile or humour but he too is who he is.
We certainly appreciated everything the KOA Cardinal has offered us for a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend.
Fri 07 Oct 2011
Positives: Plenty of activities for the kids. Very clean and well maintained.All activities were well organised.
Negatives: Small sites with little to no privacy. The owner is very rude should take some social skills courses. The owner's dog attacked a few campers and actually bit and broke skin of a young camper, the owner quickly attended to wound and assured the parents that the dog had it's shots but never apologised.
Comments: Great for the kids. Plenty of activities and the sites are well maintained. Very clean facilities. The 11:00 quiet time is quite exagerated where the owner walks around and rudely asks to respect the quiet time or else you're threatened to be kicked off the site. Simply talking around the campfire is considered too much for this owner.
Fri 07 Oct 2011
Positives: Fun activities
Most staff is friendly
Negatives: No full hook ups, charge to be pumped out
Expensive guest rates
Too exaggerated in reinforcing quiet time
Owner and wife not so friendly
We have camped here on the Thanksgiving weekend for four years in a row and have usually had a positive experience. We have noticed that the Halloween activities are not as fun as they used to be, maybe due to changing staff. In general we have been very happy with our stay, most of the staff is friendly. The owner could try to be more sociable; he often walks by the sites and you can barely get a hello out of him.
Our first evening this year we were approached at 11:15 and told that it was quiet hours and to try to keep the noise down, we were quietly chatting around our firepit. It spoiled the mood as he kept circling around the park so we were in bed early so as not to cause a problem. Kind of sucks since camping should be a time to unwind and sit out by the fire wothput being harrassed for doing nothing but quietly chatting.
The biggest complaint we have is that even though it cost $50 a night (no sewers), our guests had to pay $10 EACH to enter the park. That would have been reasonable if the pool or mini putt were open or usable but, being October, everything but the jumping pillow was closed. We had 7 guests joining us (4 of them were adults) for a total of $70. There was no cost to the owner to have the guests on site. $5 would have been reasonable or $10 had it been the nighht of the supper. When one of our guests arrived at 3:45 and pointed out that their price list quoted $6 afer 4 pm, he asked of he could return in 15 min. and save $20 ( there were 5 people in his party). He was told that the price would be the same ($10) since it was the long weekend. The owner's wife kept passing behind the girl at the desk and telling her what to say and insisting that she charge full price! She told my husband that they would be using the water and bathrooms and if we/our guests weren't happy we could go camp somewhere else! What an unprofessional attitude! Not a businessminded group at all.
Sun 28 Aug 2011
Positives: Activities for kids
Quietness at night
Negatives: Not a thing
I have been coming to this park for four years and am now a seasonal camper here, I am amazed by some of the comments on this page! My family has never had a problem with the owner and has always been treated with respect. We hear the stories of people being asked to leave and can believe why he does ask them. We sit and watch how people treat his campground and how they let their children destroy the campground, we as camps have even had to stop children from hurting our trailers and the campground. Maybe before people right bad reviews about a owner and try to hurt his reputation they should see what their kids do and be more respectful of others property. We also love that the quiet time is enforced so our children and us can sleep!
We love camping at Cardinal KOA and love the staff and owner!!!!
Sat 30 Jul 2011
Positives: Clean bathrooms,
kind and friendly staff!!!!
Negatives: non to report..maybe the chip wagon to be open more.
Comments: We just got back from a week's camping at KOA Cardinal, and to be honest it was the best camping experience of my life. The grounds are kept super clean as well as the bathrooms. The pool,splash pad and jumping pillow are so much fun, and it tires the kids out.The mini golf is in the process of being built,due to the rainy weather there were delays which were out of his control.The waterslide is in the process of being put up, he is waiting for the paperwork to be approved,again not in his control. As for the owner we had NO problems with him, he is a serious man, but if you respect him then he respects you.I wore the bracelet, honestly what is the big deal about it?? and I did take it off for showering but if he saw me not wearing it he NEVER said anything.He was polite and pleasant to me and my kids.We did stay up one night past 11pm and he was walking around, we were quietly playing scrabble at the picnic table with one light on.He passed by simply said good night and that was it.As long as we were quiet he was happy. His staff is out of this world, always there to answer our questions.I spoke to alot of people who are repeat customers and they say they love it there.It is very family orientated,and that having it quiet at night is great when you have little kids trying to sleep.That he is strict but at the end of the day he is simply trying to run a business.
Thu 30 Jun 2011
Positives: Cleanest bathrooms of any campground we have ever been to
Jumping pillow - tires the kids out!
pool is heated
Negatives: Visits are always too short
Once again, we had a fantastic - all-be-it too short - stay at the Cardinal KOA. The campground was clean, the weather was amazing and the staff were always helpful.
I have read many complains about the enforcement of quiet time at 11:00pm and cannot understand what everyone else is complaining about. We have been going to this campground for the better part of three years, and we have never been threatened, yelled at, cursed at, nor has the owner been rude to us about staying up past the 11:00pm noise cut-off (personally, I am glad for it, it keeps the noisy people quiet when others are trying to sleep). Many times we have stayed up past 11:00pm and NEVER been threatened with eviction. We have been told to be quiet if we were a bit loud, but never in a rude manner, blunt yes, but not rude.
Think about it for a minute; if you are respectful at night, you will get respect in return.
As for the attitude that children are not welcome at this campground; our children have never been told to stop having fun. Of course our children were not riding around the campground with platic water bottles jammed into their spokes, or running around with rock-filled pop cans, annoying the crap out of every other camper in the park. We were at the park that weekend so I can tell you that it was extremely frustrating listening to the racket that was being made. Every single person in our group were so happy when the park staff started removing those darn bottles from all of the bikes. Again - respect is the issue here.
I for one am realy happy that you "unhappy campers" will not be coming back; it leaves space for polite, respectful, happy campers.
Tue 28 Jun 2011
Positives: Cleanliness, bathrooms, jumping pillow
Just returned from this campground. My sons and I were greeted by the owner upon our arrival, who was warm, genuine, and remembered us from last year (wHich absolutely astounded us).
This was another fantastic stay! The staff were helpful, friendly, and would stop by and ask if everything was o.k. When I was struggling with building a fire, a staff actually came by (without prompting) and gave me a hand. Where else would you get that.
I strongly recommend this place to others!
Fri 17 Jun 2011
Negatives: OWNER OWNER OWNER
HORRIBLE UNSTABLE PERSON
NEVER go to this campground - the owner is SO rude and unstable!!
I have been to this campground in the past, and did have a decent time. So we decided to return for a short weekend getaway. What a mistake that was!!!! When arriving I was told that all members of the family must wear a paper bracelet (like something you have to wear at an amusement park). I was told that the reason was because there are too many people that do not register their guests (of course they charge visitors). I found that simply ridiculous, I have the tag hanging in my car, that should be enough. Later, from another camper, I was told that the reason is due to the propane filling station, and we have to wear it in the event of an explosion (what?).
Anyways, in the evening, I was playing with my kids and was approached by the owner, who questioned the fact that we were not wearing the bracelet (many people were not wearing it). I told him that we were, but they are very uncomfortable (to the point of my daughter crying about it), and I had taken them off. He got right in my face, and yelled at me that if I did not put them on, then we had to leave (at 8:45pm - seriously). He was speaking to me in a very aggressive manner, in front of my young children, who started crying. What kind of man gets in a woman’s face like that and yells? I went back and told my husband, he was furious; no one is to talk like that to his wife! and make his kids cry! He went over to the owner to confront him, who again, told us to leave, and told my husband he had called the police (we have done nothing wrong, we are a quiet small family trying to enjoy our Father’s day weekend). It turns out that of course he didn’t call the police, since he had no grounds to do so – I think he just needs to act like the BIG man.
Needless to say, there was no way I would stay there, we demanded a refund, and were more than happy to leave once we got it. Packing up a campsite in the pitch black of night with two upset children, was no picnic.
I am so utterly shocked to have been treated in such a horrible way, nothing like that has ever happened to me before. The owner is an extremely unstable and aggressive person; there is no way that he should be allowed to run a family campground with so many children. If he feels that he can act this way towards a woman standing there with her 2 kids; who knows what he’s capable of.
Read the reviews of there!! You will find several similar one’s regarding the owner’s attitude. KOA should be ashamed to have their name on that campground. I will be making a formal complaint to the head office, Better Business Bureau, and as many others that I can.
DO NOT go there!! I don't want anyone else to have to go through such a horrible experience.
Fri 27 May 2011
Negatives: THE OWNER, other that him that park is great!!! Get rid of him and u could fill the park!!
Comments: Well I just got back from my stay at the Cardinal KOA,,, I have to agree with the sleep Nazi comment. I was only there for 5 mins unloading my car and was met by the owner asking me if i planned on leaving my car there,,,bad start and it only got worse,, he was rude to my daughter and the other kids with us,, he was incredible rude to us at night and any other time he say us for that matter,,, I have no idea why he owns a campground,,, i think it is time to put the for sale sign up and pack it in,, we will never go back there again...
Fri 27 May 2011
Positives: Very clean and well kept washrooms.
Comments: Do not camp here if you want to stay up past 11pm,the owner will not leave you alone until you go to bed. We were just sitting around the fire talking yet that was to lound for him. We have young kids who were in bed so the last thing we wanted to do was wake them up or any other campers who may have been sleeping. Yet just talking by the fire is to loud for him.
Fri 27 May 2011
Positives: love the campground , love the staff , love the owners , love the great fire work shows
Negatives: the weekends at koa cadinal go too fast!!!
love koa cardinal, stay there on a regular basis and have never had any trouble with the owner,
in fact we find him to be great .we stay up past 11pm , but respect the rules , i was very happy when he removed to bottles from the bikes that may have kept your kids amused but
bothered everyone else , also i know for a fact that he worked his butt off to try and open the pool (and at great expense, but could not open it because the ministry would not allow it
,due to high chemical levels ,it is what it is , he has been fighting the wet conditions all spring and has done a great job despite mother nature, campers with your attitude won't be missed , that leaves a spot for a good camper ,happy trails people!!
Fri 20 May 2011
Positives: Staff is great
Facilities are very clean
Jumping pillow is great for kids
Pool and splash pad are terrific
Kids always have fun even when not making as much irriating noise as possible. Go figure?
Negatives: Stupid campers that come to stay and act like rude teenagers. And teach their kids to act
like rude teenagers too. No offense to the non-rude teenagers out there.
We camp at this KOA all the time and have never had any issues. That being said, when we
stay up past 11pm the owner will definitely come by and let us know to keep it down. We do.
It's that simple. People that cry and whine that the guy is like a sleep Nazi (really people,
why use the term "nazi" in this day and age?) are clearly the ones that don't comply and
have to be told more than once. Grow up. As for you parents that think it's great fun for
your kids to strap empty bottles to their bikes and ride around making as much useless noise as
possible, we're glad you aren't coming back because you and your kids are totally annoying.
Our kids are 8 and 11, and we camp with family who's kids range between 4 and 14. Every single
one of them doesn't feel the need to run around making irritating sounds with their bikes.
And we certainly don't go tying a coke can with pebbles in them to drag around and continue
to make as much irritating noise as possible. Again - grow up. Oh yeah, don't come back.
Fri 20 May 2011
Positives: Cleanliness of washrooms, pool/splash pad when open, dog park and fire pit when not flooded out
Negatives: Owner, owner, owner, not fully serviced sites, told when to go to bed, amenities that are advertised as coming are way to early (from past experience), advertised kids activities are few and far between, hours of the chip truck
I would have to say overall the campsite and most of the staff are very nice and the campground has a lot of potential.
My problems are solely with the owner and HIS rules and the way he deals with both children and adults (customers). We booked this campground knowing that it had a heated pool and splash pad, when we arrived there was a sign indicating that these would be closed all weekend due to water problems with no compensation to the customers other than a written apology (or excuse). I find it hard to believe that the problem could not be rectified during our stay or before and this was definitely obvious when no one worked on it all weekend! This is probably due to the fact that the campground is run on a skeleton staff. It seems on this weekend the owner went out of his way to make sure the kids in particular couldn’t have fun. For example with the pool closed the kids were looking for something to do for outdoor entertainment. They found a muddy area of the campground (which there was lots of) and started to play only quickly to be shut down. Later they decided to stick bottles or cans in their bikes and ride around again to be shut down. It appeared if there was a kid with a smile on their face he was more than determined to stop it and in some instances rather rudely.
Quiet time is advertised as 11PM to 7AM and this is strictly enforced at night by the “sleep Nazi”. He is out doing his rounds lurking in the shadows ready tell you to “just be careful”, but if you so much more than whisper he’s on you like a fat kid on a Smartie telling you to shut it down or in other words go to bed. I’m an adult and I am more than capable to decide when it’s time to go to sleep. On the flip side I have yet to see him out patrolling the park before 7AM enforcing the quiet hours then.
This will definitely be my last camping experience at KOA Cardinal, rates to high for not fully serviced sites, no compensation for pool and splash pad being closed, owner difficult to deal with, told when to go to bed and my past experience with future amenities tells me the mini-putt is more than a year away from completion.
At most campgrounds the owner and staff are more than happy to have you as guest but here you get the feeling that once they have your money they could care less if you enjoy yourself.
Fri 24 Sep 2010
Positives: Beautiful campground; lots of stuff for kids
Negatives: Quiet time rule & owner attitude
Worst camping experience ever. Quiet time actually means "bedtime" at 10pm and the owner STRICTLY enforces this - owner comes around and shuts you down if you are sitting up quietly talking around the campfire at 10pm - although quiet time was
posted at their front office as 11pm - a "misprint" we were told.
If you question him, he evicts you. He also threatened to call police if we didn't
leave in the morning. Further,
to ensure we did "go to bed", he lurked in the shadows/trees to watch us and then "popped" up, a
asking us whether we were going to be packing it in for night. We apologized to the other
campers in the area for our "behaviour" - they didn't know what we were talking about. Great
place for kids but unwelcoming for adults.
Fri 03 Sep 2010
Negatives: Rudeness from owner, insinuating I lied about 2 deaths in my immediate family.
Comments: Have camped several times at this KOA and liked it. Had good experiences in the past. However, had reservations for the Labour Day weekend and looked forward to camping, but unfortunately not 1 but 2 deaths occured in the family and had to cancel reservations. Spoke to owner who REFUSED to give me back the deposit and even insinuated that I was lying. Telling me everyone gives that excuse. I even sent him the link to the Funeral home where he could see the obituaries. Wrote him asking for the small refund and just refused. I did tell him I hope this never happens to him, where he has to experience such rudness.
Tue 17 Aug 2010
Positives: Very clean ,great staff ,lots for kids to do , always improving campground
Negatives: Campers who break the rules and blame others (ie the owner)
Another great stay at the cardinal koa ,staff all great , have never had any problems staying up past 11pm , never had
the owner threaten to evict us or call the police , the owner will come by at 11pm !! ,but has always been polite and respectfull to us ,as i said before all the staff are great and the facilities are first rate
Sun 18 Jul 2010
Positives: very clean , great staff , great family campground , excellent food on potluck wekends, owner is quite a good chef!!!!!
Negatives: owner would not give us his rib recipe !!!!
great campground , excellent staff !! , kids love going there , always clean , regularly stay up
past 11pm , owner comes by and enforces quite time but is polite and respectful when doing so , and gets same in return , i think others had a bad experience it had something to do with
them , not the owner or the park
thank you koa /cardinal ,brian
Thu 15 Jul 2010
Positives: Clean washrooms
Lots of childrens activities
fully stocked store
Comments: What A Great place to camp! The cardinal KOA Ottawa south was the best place I have vacationed with my family in ages! They had a themed weekend that was "PIRATE" weekend, whenever we checked in a great elderly lady named Irene checked us in. It was not long until the activities began they hired a gentleman that looked identical to jack sparrow and he did a little show on Friday night for the kids. On Sat they started activities at the crack of dawn and then they had one of their student workers run the show in the afternoon. The young girl Ashley planned and mapped out a real treasure hunt she was even dressed up as a pirate and carried a real map. They then had children’s bingo and a ice cream social. The washrooms were the SPOTLESS, cleanest washrooms I have ever been in and for a campground you do not expect that at all! I would highly recommend this campground and I’m for sure making it an annual stop for my family!
Sun 20 Jun 2010
Positives: Clean, poutine truck, pool, ice cream.
Negatives: Owner is rude and intrusive on your stay.
Comments: We have tried staying here three times and each time we leave wondering why the owner is so ignorant and rude. Our group of 8 have never had an issue in any other campground and that list is well over 70 different campgrounds. even the senior citizens in our group will never go back. Please note that the other people complaining on this site are probably not trouble campers. He treats everyone the same way.
Fri 21 May 2010
Positives: Quiet-time enforcement, great staff and owners. Great for a relaxing weekend, get-away from the "rat-race"
Negatives: Small quibble = not (very)close to boating areas.
Comments: Have camped here quite a few times in the past and will be there this coming weekend. NOTE - talking around campfire is OK, IF QUIET-TIME RULES ARE RESPECTED! These rules ARE stricly enforced and majority of campers appreciate this!! Respect,not rowdiness, is the rule. My family has NEVER met rude staff/owners in ANY KOA campground!
Mon 19 Oct 2009
Comments: Hosts/Owners not very friendly to campers. We are seasoned campers and never had issues similar to this anywhere. The hosts watch you like a hawk, and will be sure to let you know when the see you or your child as what they say is out of line. We fully respect other campers and ensure our kids are not rude and respect others, but this place makes you feel guilty to be campers there. Also, have a nice quiet campfire is nice, but when you are told you must go to bed at 10pm, seems like nonsense. When you are not making noise and sitting by the fire being told you must put it out and call it a night, took the cake. Not again!!!
Sun 26 Jul 2009
Comments: Though the campground was a good camp ground when there for a weekend with our to young children and 2 large dogs. The owner even came and checked on us at night when there was a huge thunder storm he was checking on all the tent trailers and tents which he didnt have to do. The campground was very clean and the kids enjoyed the pool and play ground very much.
Sun 19 Jul 2009
Comments: The owner was very rude. He made aligations that where untrue. He does not like the way you park a vehical, talk around the camp fire after 11:00pm. Does not like visitors to come and visit other campers. Can not stand children. The facilities where good, but it's to bad the owner has some mental issues...
Fri 12 Jun 2009
Positives: Clean , quite gereat shade from tall pines , lots for kids to do
Excellent staff , great facilities - very clean , quite time
rules enforced and appriciated , the prevoius reveiw of this
camp ground totally untrue , owner great and great place for kids , i think that camper has a mental problem - not the owner ,
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